DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The City of Dallas is suing a Texaco gas station at the intersection of Interstate-635 and Ferguson Road. Officials want to hold the owners responsible for all the rampant criminal activity they say is happening on the property.
Local businesses, though, argue it's the City that should be doing more to tackle crime in the area.
The city attorney's office called the gas station "a hub of drug use and sales and related violent crime" in a court filing Monday.
In a press release announcing the lawsuit, the City claims it tried working with the gas station, but that the business "failed to respond appropriately, in light of the escalating crime".
"There have been active aggravated assaults, there have been carjackings in our view," said Adrian Turner, who manages security at the nearby Meadows at Ferguson apartment complex.
Turner captures some of the crime on a body camera he wears while at work, but says there's only so much local businesses can do. He says, on average, he and his team call 911 about four times a day to report problems at the business.
"There's been little to no response and they use those statistics against the owner himself," said Turner.
The City's lawsuit references 36 crimes at the gas station in the past year. The suit claims owner Bajrangbali786 LLC "tolerates the habitual criminal activity and has failed to make reasonable attempts to abate the activity."
The manager of the gas station disagrees, telling CBS 11 News he's hired private security, regularly reports crimes, provides police access to surveillance video, and even trimmed back bushes to improve visibility.
He said, the business has called 911 at total of 96 times in the past three months and now plans to countersue the City for its lack of response.
"It is their job to respond to calls for help," said Hudson Henley, who purchased the Meadows at Ferguson apartments in January. He says, he's done his part, as well, to improve security by evicting troublesome tenants.
But ultimately Henley says it should be police, not property owners, who tackle crime. "Where is the tax money going that should be going to police?" he asked.
The city attorney's office says it also filed lawsuits against the previous owner of the apartment complex and a neighboring shopping center. Officials say Dallas police will also be increasing patrols and conducting additional operations in the coming days.
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